Editorial: The right to protest

October 26, 2012
By

The right to peaceful protest is eroding in JP under the Boston Police Department.

Last year, it was the bogus arrests of protesters for displaying banners at a crucial public meeting about Whole Foods Market.

This year, it is the revelation that police spies branded a 2007 JP anti-war event as “criminal” and “extremist” in a secret intelligence file. No one knows what that means for attendees or the rest of us.

The 2007 event involved speakers widely known to be good, peaceful people of conscience. One of them was our neighbor and city councilor. The event was held in one of our churches. It was publicized in this newspaper. Is the Gazette on some secret enemies list, too?

Whatever the BPD’s intent, the file is maliciously absurd on its face. Keeping that file raises questions about the freedoms of speech, assembly and religion enshrined in the U.S. and state constitutions.

The BPD is a great partner with JP in community policing. Thought policing is a different matter, and entirely counterproductive.